Tony Costa has been president of the Yesterday Golf Cart Club for nine years. He uses his cart to go everywhere, except outside the Villages.

About 10 years ago, Tony Costa came out one morning to eat dog food. He returned home with dog food, plus a unique and unique Yesteryear golf cart, which he has since trapped with almost every bells and whistles imaginable.

"It has everything except air conditioning," he says.

The trolley was shirtless when he bought it, on an elongated chassis with forward-facing seats for four passengers.

"At one time, there were two identical carts, but one of them was lost. All that remains is this, "he says.

Among the additions that Tony has added are lights around and blue lights under the frame. A canvas top has been added and inside, beneath the fabric, are tiny fiber optic lamps that glow and change color. In the dark, they look like psychedelic stars in perpetual mutation. The front dashboard, with the exception of wood, looks like an airplane with multiple switches, dials and gauges.

"It was probably built in 2001, based on the serial number," says Tony. "And it has been used in parades and demonstrations by The Villages Golf Cart."

Of course, the cart is equipped with an AM-FM stereo.

"I had been warned that if I bought it, I would have a lot of spectators. I said, "OK, okay. And that's the case, "says Tony.

The Yesteryear golf cart is Tony's main mode of transportation in The Villages. "I use it every day." "It does not matter where I go – in the shops, squares, on the golf course or on the bowling alleys – people smile and give me a helping hand. And that makes me happy because they are happy. They look at a cart like they've probably never seen before. "

He estimates the value between $ 30,000 and $ 40,000.

Villager Tony Costa poses with his one-of-a-kind Yesteryear golf cart. The four-seater was built in 2001.

There is a GPS and a backup camera in Tony's cart.

In the past nine years, Tony has been president of The Villages Yesteryear Golf Car Club. The main goals of the club are to take advantage of golf carts, participate in major village parades and raise money for charity. The only requirement for being a member of a club is to own a Yesterday golf cart.

"We have a tree lighting event and a 50/50 draw at Christmas and half of the money goes to Sumter County (sheriff's office) to get the kids to do their shopping. We are participating in the St. Patrick's Day parade, which is our next big event, and we are organizing a cruise in April. "

The club meets at La Hacienda Recreation Center on the first Monday of the month at 3 pm. For more information, call Tony Costa at 352-350-2870.

The chrome CAMILLE on the side of Tony Costa's golf cart pays tribute to his wife.

Tony made a wooden shelf for the back seat, with cut-out cup holders, to match that of the front.

Tony recognizes that safety is always a primary concern. "You are in a machine designed to be around 18 km / h. If you hit a small sidewalk at high speed, with these tires and frame, you will bounce and the truck will probably tip over. "

Tony's cart features an unbreakable Lexan windshield and an electric wiper.

Tony has lived most of his life at Plymouth Meeting, just outside of Philadelphia. For about 30 years he worked in the textile industry at a company that made uniforms for the army, police and firefighters. In the late 1980s, the company closed after 120 years and Tony entered the real estate business for 13 years.

The bold chrome "CAMILLE" on the side of the golf cart looks like the model's name, but it's really for the honor of Tony's wife, Camille.

In 1999, Tony and Camille bought a rental property on the historic side of The Villages.

"We had friends we visited here from 1996," he says. "They bought their current home in Glenbrook Village in 2004 and moved permanently to The Villages in 2006."

Tony Costa's Yesteryear golf cart's flat grill is unique. "I've never seen anything like it," he says.

There is a chrome-plated Jaguar radiator cap ornament and three "Buick ports" with lights on either side of the hood. The flat grill is custom made. "I've never seen another one," says Tony.

"Where else in the country can you travel to three different counties by cart?" Asks Tony.

Most of the work on the trolley was done by Tony and his friends. He had to install an extra battery to run all the electrical accessories and extra lights.

"I want to make the trolley as visible as possible at night and very visible during the day," he says. "I want to make sure people see me if I'm stopped at a light."

Of course, the lights also contribute to the overall blinging effect.

This is the standard coupe version of the Yesteryear golf cart. It is also available in a truck version.

The flexible plastic side windows, at the front and back, wind up with electric motors. Tony has driver side controls for all windows.

The old carts are the origin of the frames, motors and standard running gear for golf carts, without bodywork. Fiberglass bodies, inspired by the late 1930s Ford, are made locally from hand-made molds. Everything is married, as well as the custom painting work, in an installation located near The Villages. Two styles, a coupe and a truck, are available. Villages Golf Cars are the new exclusive Yesteryear dealer.

Tony's trolley doors are removable for easy entry and exit for golfers.

The purchase of equipment for cart updates often requires some ingenuity. The door handles and latches come from a refrigerator manufacturer. Hinges for outboard motor boat covers. Some of the pieces are made or assembled on Tony's garage workbench with the help of other members of the club.

Yesteryear Golf Club President Tony Costa poses with a Yesteryear coupe. The design is based on a Ford of the late 1930s.

Air shocks help cushion the ride and the "HEMI" logo on the chrome panel on the lower side. "He's a little hemi," laughs Tony.

The next addition? "I'm always trying to find something new," Tony says. "I consider air conditioning. We would need to find room for extra batteries to use it. But he knows a company that makes a small battery-powered unit that would work.

If you see Tony and "Camille the golf cart" around Sumter Landing Lake or anywhere else in The Villages, wave to them. They are there to make everyone smile and enjoy their day.

John W Prince is a writer and villager. For more information, visit www.GoMyStory.com.